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POW – MIA Recognition Day

September 21



This commemoration is set aside to honor the commitment and sacrifices made by this nation’s prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action, as well as their families. Until July 18, 1979, no commemoration was held to honor POW/MIAs. In the first year, Congress passed resolutions and the national ceremony was held at the National Cathedral in Washington. The 1st Tactical Squadron from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia flew the Missing Man formation.  A poster was published by VA which contained only the letters POW/MIA. That continued until 1982, when a black and white drawing of a POW in captivity was used to show urgency of the situation. Every year, National POW/MIA Recognition Day legislation was introduced until 1985, when Congress determined that commemorative days would no longer be considered. The president now signs a proclamation each year. The National League of Families proposed the third Friday of September as a commemoration date. Most of the National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremonies have taken place at the Pentagon. Now, they’re held throughout the nation and around the world on military installations, ships, schools, churches, etc. The focus is to ensure that America remembers its responsibility to stand behind those who serve it and to make sure that we do all that is possible to account for those who have not returned.



POW/MIA Missing Man Table
1. The table is RESERVED to honor MIAs and POWs and show our everlasting concern for them.
2. The tablecloth is WHITE symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.
3. The SINGLE RED ROSE displayed in a vase, reminds their loved ones and us of the life of each of the missing and friends who keep the faith, awaiting answers.
4. The vase is tied with a RED RIBBON, symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing.
5. A SLICE OF LEMON on a bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.
6. The PINCH OF SALT symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers.
7.  The BIBLE represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded by one nation, under GOD.
8. The GLASS is inverted to symbolize their inability to share in a toast to camaraderie and fellowship.
9. The CHAIR is empty, because they are missing.
10.  Please honor POWs and MIAs by revering the table and the contents.


We Will Never Forget


September 21


POW – MIA Recognition Day